For the first time since becoming part of the HSBC BWF World Tour in 2018, the US Open quarterfinals will feature two pairs of identical twins.
Chinese Taipei men’s tandem Lee Fang-Chih/Lee Fang-Jen, 25, advanced after seeing off Americans Enrico Asuncion/Adrian King-sun Mar 21-16 21-10 while the 23-year-old Xu sisters – Annie and Kerry – defeated compatriots Francesca Corbett/Allison Lee 21-16 19-21 21-10.
The quartet later got together for a group photo and expressed their thoughts on sharing the YONEX US Open 2023 last eight stage with another pair of identical twins.
Kerry said: “When we saw them and the Grimley brothers (of Scotland), we were like ‘okay we aren’t the only pair of twins here!’”
“Back home when we were young, we did meet another pair of identical twins playing women’s doubles but they were much older and retired shortly after.”
Fang-Jen, who has partnered his brother since they were 15 after both started out in singles, said: “It’s very rare to see identical twins at badminton tournaments. There was a pair at high school but otherwise it’s us who usually stand out.
“Good thing about playing with your sibling is you tend to communicate better. We used to argue a lot when we were younger but now we play as a team and try to lead each other on court.”
The quieter Fang-Chih said: “It’s nice we won’t be the only twins in the quarterfinals.”
Based in San Jose, California and first-generation Chinese Americans, the Xu sisters picked up badminton aged eight and have only ever partnered each other. After graduating, they worked for a while before quitting to focus on their badminton careers.
On their maiden Super 300 quarterfinals coming on American soil, Kerry said: “We feel extremely happy we can perform on home turf in front of local badminton fans. It’s also our first time in Iowa so we will take home good memories for sure.”
“We want to bring our A game although they are the top seeds. Hopefully we can come out the winners.”